Digital Marketing For Car Dealers (10 Effective Strategies)

Marketing has always been an essential part of businesses. It’s the same for car dealership companies like Toyota, Ford, and other giants in the industry. And for your digital marketing strategy to work, you need to reach the right audience to convert.

This includes online opportunities that are entirely different but are all looking for the same thing. The thing is, you have to make your promotions cater to every possible online buyer. The secret is to find common ground within your target market. Something that you can use to your advantage.

This article will drive you through everything you need to understand about digital marketing for car dealers. Let’s get into digital marketing for car dealers right away.

In this article,

  1. The Thing About Digital Marketing For Car Dealers…
  2. Is Marketing Needed For Car Dealers?
  3. Smart Strategies For Car Dealers
  4. Frequently Asked Questions

The Thing About Digital Marketing For Car Dealers…

The buyer’s journey is the turning point for auto dealers. They are the ones that will decide whether your investments will bear fruit or not. Remember that they are ready to spend their money, you just have to reach out to them.

The trends of consumers have changed in deciding and choosing the car dealers to choose. They research a lot and are influenced by digital marketing strategies. It is important to be on a digital platform when your consumer research to gain a competitive advantage over others.

Instead of putting up pranks for April Fools’ Day, they gave gifts and other positive acts to random people. They also hosted a mini get-together for people around the area. All events were streamed on their YouTube channel for those who can’t come by.

General Motor Co.’s digital marketing team stepped up to reach diverse audiences. They moved on from old-timers and 4×4 enthusiasts to millennials and brand influencers. They also actively engaged their audience on the live stream, gaining over 600 comments per minute according to The Detroit News feature.

Is Marketing Needed For Car Dealers?

According to a brand case study on Chevy’s #BestDayEver, the company gained a 70% increase in organic traffic for its website. By reaching out to actors and YouTube celebrities, they made a huge impact on millennials who don’t normally align with their brand.

Chevy’s marketing strategy gained them massive traffic for their YouTube channel and their website. Sure, their brand is already famous before they pulled off this trick from their hats. But, essentially, an effective digital marketing strategy does the trick.

For small auto dealers and giants in the automotive industry, marketing is needed in the same manner. And since people are moving to the digital world by the minute, it’s wise to engage people where they are. This way, you can funnel them through your business model easily and effectively.

Sales funneling is an important concept to understand in automotive digital marketing. Marketing strategies will drive potential customers to your site, and proper sales funneling will convert them into sales. The funnel has 4 major parts, namely:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action

A combined effort in digital marketing and sales funneling will significantly increase your ROI. For small car dealerships, you can also leverage a good marketing strategy to beat your competition.

Now, let’s move on to the strategies you can use in marketing for car dealerships.

Smart Strategies For Car Dealers

Digital Marketing for Car Dealers - Smart Strategies
Digital Marketing for Car Dealers – Smart Strategies

1. Take Customer Reviews Seriously

Your business is to sell cars, and we know that cars don’t come at cheap prices. That’s why car buyers spend a considerable amount of time evaluating cars and comparing them with each other. Some even take months to do research and check a car dealership’s website for the price.

However, customer reviews will be the cornerstone for establishing trust for your brand. If they bump into your website and see that customers get what they pay for, they will start trusting your car dealership. Reputation management is crucial to get potential buyers to be new customers.

Car dealership rating of Liberty Kia from
Car dealership rating of Liberty Kia from

Make sure that the reviews for your brand are visible on your website and other local web directories. A good website to gain reviews from is DealerRater. Publishing customer reviews and success stories on social media sites can also boost brand awareness. It’s important to gain their trust first before they’ll be willing to spend thousands of dollars on your cars.

2. Implement SEO Strategies on Your Website

When engaging in digital marketing, it’s always suggested to do search engine optimization (SEO). Perhaps you’ve heard a lot of times about SEO so I won’t get to the thick of it. What you need to know is that a good SEO will get you more traffic.

On-Page SEO

Everything on a webpage can be considered part of on-page SEO. It deals with:

  • Content
  • Page loading speed
  • Keyword usage
  • Site architecture
  • Image optimization

Optimizing each aspect of on-page SEO to deliver a good user experience is the goal of this strategy. This way, your leads will stay on your website and gain interest in the cars you sell.

Read More: 10 Types of SEO: All You Need to Know in 2022

Local SEO

Getting your website on local listings and directories can bring you more customers. Making your brand known in the local community is a good way to generate new leads.

  1. Get listed on Google My Business to appear on Google Maps. You can also do this on Apple Maps.
  2. Ready your business license and credentials for faster listing. This should include the business name, address, and phone number (NAP) of the store.
  3. Look for other local listings and directories to list your business. Make sure you’re registered only in trusted directories.
Searching "car shops around" gave business listings of car shops in the area.
Searching “car shops around” gave business listings of car shops in the area.

Your website can also overtake the rank 1 in organic search on search engines, particularly Google. Google shows business directories for search queries like “car dealers near me” or “car shops around”. By optimizing your local SEO, you can easily rank your business on top of SERP for certain queries.

Web Design

Lastly, web design takes an important role in converting your visitors into sales. A good web design for car dealerships is composed of several factors:

  • User-friendly design
  • Layout and ease of navigation
  • Ease of payment and transactions
  • Product details with description
  • Compatibility with mobile devices

Your web design should look professional and easy to navigate to drive your traffic down the sales funnel. The more they’re engaged on your site, the easier it is to convert them into buyers.

3. Do a Thorough Market Analysis

Knowing your market is crucial to generate leads. Through thorough market analysis, you will know the demographics of the audience you’re targeting. You’ll need a different marketing approach for luxury cars and affordable cars because the target market has different budgets.

These potential customers have different questions in mind regarding what to buy. Honda buyers may be concerned about the gas mileage while BMW buyers care more about the leather seats and high-end functionalities.

That’s why it’s important to know what concerns your prospective buyer has. You can target your digital marketing strategies more effectively and get more customers out of them.

4. Do a Thorough Keyword Research

Now that you know what your target market asks about cars, you can use the keywords they’re using to ask queries. Following up your market analysis with thorough keyword research will help you target specific individuals. If your target market uses keywords that are found in your content, your website appears more on search engines.

You can use Ahrefs Keyword Research Tool to check the keyword difficulty of a specific keyword. You can also see what sites will be your competitor for a keyword.

Ahrefs SERP overview of websites ranking for "new Honda civic" keyword.
Ahrefs SERP overview of websites ranking for “new Honda civic” keyword.

When competing for keywords, you have to choose the battles to tackle. If you’re new in car dealership marketing, you can’t just compete for difficult keywords. Choose keywords that you know you are capable to rank on SERP.

5. Track Negative Keywords

Since we’ve talked about PPC (Pay-per-Click) advertising already in our previous blog about auto digital marketing, you already know how these ads work. Negative keywords are keywords that are irrelevant for your business but Google still shows your ads for these keywords. And this could cost you a lot of money without even knowing it.

For example, you’re ranking for the keyword “affordable cars” and someone searched for “toy cars”. Toy cars are a lot cheaper than an actual car and Google might misinterpret this, showing your ads for “toy cars” instead.

If they click on your ad, they won’t find what they’re looking for and leave. This will only increase your bounce rate and will cost you money. Imagine if you have more than one negative keyword in your content. That’s why it’s necessary to clear out these negative keywords and actively track them so you won’t go empty-handed.

6. Include Marketing Strategies in Your Promotions and Sales Offers

The big question is: What makes you better than the car dealer across the street?

If you can convince your prospects that your brand is better than your competitors, your marketing strategies are working. And you need to apply it in your promotions and sales offers as well.

Giving new customers a discount for their first car is a good marketing strategy to boost your ROI. You can also give a free 1-year service for the car for free or a free oil change for two years. As long as you’re offering something for a limited-time offer, customers will feel that it’s urgent to buy the car of their dreams without missing out on the freebies.

You can also do raffles on social media platforms to gain traction in online marketing. This is also a good way to bring traffic to your car dealership’s website. Make a unique raffle and patch it up with content that’s interesting for your market. This will gain social media engagements all over different platforms.

7. Check the Trend in Buying Cars

You can’t expect people to buy cars daily. Normally, they wait for holidays or special offers from car dealerships to get discounts on their purchase. That’s why you don’t waste all your resources on a strategy if it’s not the right time to go all-out.

There are dates (like Christmas or New Year season) when people tend to buy cars more. Find out what cars are they opting for (luxury or standard cars) and make special limited-time offers on those cars. This marketing effort will make more leads and attract car buyers to your dealership.

8. Leverage Social Media Marketing For Car Dealerships

Social media is a powerful tool for automotive digital marketing. Since your target market already has a job or a fresh college graduate, chances are they have social media accounts too. Car enthusiasts are active on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and have groups and hashtags dedicated to cars.

As a marketer, this is a good opportunity to grab. The key in social media marketing for car dealerships is to dialogue with your followers and establish relationships with them. Showcase your customer service skills and proactive business approach to give your brand identity.

Don’t forget to include your name, phone number, email address, and other social accounts on your posts. This way, people can easily contact your services.

9. Make Sure Car Buyers Are Confident and Secured With Your Brand

Another smart strategy is to make them feel comfortable spending thousands of dollars for the cars you sell. Your digital store should have a payment system for consumers using credit cards. Customer service should also be top-notch to breed confidence among your consumers.

Taking care of your customers throughout the buying process should be a priority. Other car dealerships nearby may sell the same cars for the same price, but they won’t be able to match your customer service. By gaining your customer’s trust and confidence, you could close more deals and sell more cars.

10. Build Links With Other Car Websites

According to our recent link-building survey, experts say that links are effective when paired with marketing strategies.

Link building survey saying that link building is effective when used along other marketing strategies.
Link building survey says that link building is effective when used along with other marketing strategies.

Building links in your niche will increase the authority of your website. Other auto dealers and car enthusiasts will be able to find your website organically. Auto industry blogs can also link back to your site if you’re authoritative in the niche.

Combining link-building with other smart marketing strategies will boost your online presence in the automotive industry. You can hire our link-building agency to take care of your link-building needs and save valuable time for your team.

Related Reads:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you promote a car dealership?

Let’s discuss some of the best ways to promote a car dealership.
1. Check the trend in buying cars.
2. Take customer feedback seriously.
3. Include marketing strategies in your promotions and sales.
4. Do thorough research and market analysis.
5. Build links with other car websites.

What is digital marketing in the automobile industry?

Digital marketing in the automobile industry is more about customer retention. It generates more revenue and also costs a little less compared to traditional marketing. Through digital marketing, suppliers in the automobile industry have the opportunity to learn the best possible ways to place advertisements and tap aggregate search websites. It also allows suppliers to offer a personalized experience for their clients which helps in improving their chances of lead conversion.

Why is digital marketing used in the automotive industry?

Digital marketing offers the tools required for the automotive industry to market their products and services in a more effective manner. It also gives dealerships the opportunity to engage clients, answer their queries, and help them with the sales process online.

Final Word!

Now that you know the smart strategies for digital marketing, your car dealership will be more competitive in online marketing. Get started with your marketing efforts right away using these 10 working strategies.

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